I’m an investigative journalist and educator who specializes in data-driven reporting and storytelling to hold the powerful accountable and inform people.
Currently, I am an associate professor of the practice of computational journalism at Boston University and a contributor to The Intercept. At BU, I teach data journalism and, collaboration with Spark! and the Center for Data and Computing Sciences, a new, interdisciplinary Justice Media co-Lab. Each semester, I lead a group of students as they report for the Boston Globe on the city of Newton.
Previously, as a contributor to The New York Times, I co-authored the series Think Tanks Inc. Another investigation I co-authored for the The New York Times in 2014 was part of a package of stories that won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. Next up is a nationwide, data-driven investigation of federal prosecutorial misconduct and accountability for The Intercept. Previously, I was an investigative journalism fellow at Harvard University.
I began my career as a writer at the Center for Public Integrity in January 2002, where I co-authored Harmful Error: Investigating Americas Local Prosecutors, The Buying of the President 2004 and Windfalls of War, an investigation into defense contracts that won a George Polk Award. In 2004, I joined the watchdog team at the San Diego Union-Tribune, where I was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for stories examining how the city mishandled public land. In 2007, after wildfires ravaged San Diego County, my prize-winning investigation into contractors the city hired to haul away debris resulted in a federal criminal probe and taxpayer settlement. In 2009, I left the Union-Tribune to join inewsource. In 2012, I continued writing occasionally for inewsource while launching my career as a freelance journalist. I also joined the Lab@Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University as an investigative journalism fellow and later joined the Project on Public Narrative at Harvard University.
I grew up in California and graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism in December 2001. While in J-school, I worked as a photojournalist for The Maneater, a student newspaper (favorite shot here) and as a beat reporter at the daily Columbia Missourian. In my free time, you’ll find me outside with my family on trails, slopes, and, hopefully, soon again at Phish shows.
Check out some of my work here.
I heard you on Majority Report and just wanted to say that your piece on think tanks was informative and was particularly effective in explicating the source of a lot of folks’ wariness of the output from even the more respectable think tanks that serve as brain trusts influencing policy like Brookings. So often it’s hard to really make plain certain problematic aspects of certain institutions and the article gave some relief to that proverbial itch in a place too hard to scratch. Very helpful. Thank you and keep on keepin’ on!